Search All of the Math Forum:

Views expressed in these public forums are not endorsed by NCTM or The Math Forum.

Notice: We are no longer accepting new posts, but the forums will continue to be readable.

Topic: 7^sqrt(8) > 8^sqrt(7) proof
Replies: 3   Last Post: Jun 20, 1996 12:31 AM

 Messages: [ Previous | Next ]
 Miguel Lerma Posts: 9 Registered: 12/12/04
Re: 7^sqrt(8) > 8^sqrt(7) proof
Posted: Jun 16, 1996 7:43 PM

Per Erik Manne (per@hamilton.nhh.no) wrote:
> Miguel Lerma wrote:
> > Incidentally, the criticism about Hsiang's proof is caused by
> > lack of details only in part. It seems that some claims included
> > in the "proof" are actually wrong.
> >
> > Miguel A. Lerma

> This is in fact what Thomas Hales claims in an article in the
> Math.Intelligencer (no.3, 1994). Hsiang has answered this criticism
> in a later issue (no.1, 1995). I haven't seen any response to
> this answer. In this subject I'm sufficiently non-expert to be

Right, Hsiang answered Hales' criticism. I am curious to see if
that answer is satisfactory for J.H. Conway, T.C. Hales, D.J. Muder,
and N.J.A. Sloane, who expresed their negative opinion in a letter
to the editor in The Math. Intell. Vol.16 (1994) N.2. Anyway, we may
wonder in what extend a proof that is not convincing for (or understood
by) the main world experts in the matter can be actually be considered
"a proof".

In inspite that I have expressed some skepticism about "computer proofs",
I can see that they may play a role in the future of Mathematics.
I agree up to some extend with C.W.H. Lam's opinions in his article
"How Reliable Is a Computer-Based Proof?", The Math. Intell. Vol.12
(1990) N.1, pp.8-12. Lam gave a computer based proof that there do not
exist any finite projective planes of order 10. The proof used several
thousand hours of supercomputer time, and it seems to be impossible to
check in the traditional sense of the word. However it can be independently
verified. Lam also gives some ideas about how to increase confidence in
a computed result.

Miguel A. Lerma

Date Subject Author
6/16/96 Miguel Lerma
6/17/96 Mike McCarty
6/20/96 Miguel Lerma